A once in a lifetime experience for the Dubzz team!
It looked like any other Tuesday, but this was to be no ordinary day at work… Around lunchtime, Julie and Matt got the call up, left the office and made their way down to Volcanic Air’s lakefront base. This was to be the beginning of an epic adventure to White Island! Volcanic Air operate scenic flights and guided tours around some of the most unique locations in the Waikato & Bay of Plenty, and on this day they had two seats to spare for Matt and Julie on their White Island tour. White Island is New Zealand’s only active marine volcano, located around 50km off the coast of Tauranga. Unsurprisingly, it is described by many as a once in a lifetime experience! Read on for Matt & Julie’s recollections of the tour.
Not Your Usual Flight
Soon after we arrived at the Lakefront, we were greeted by Sam, our pilot and guide for the afternoon. After a short safety briefing, we were strapped into the helicopter and ready to go. Neither of us had been in a helicopter before, and we were absolutely blown away by smooth ride and the sheer beauty of Rotorua from above. As we flew out over the ocean, Sam asked us to look out for any large splashes in the water, as it would likely be a group of dolphins or whales. Sure enough, Julie spotted some movement a few minutes later, and it’s a good thing she did. As we flew closer, we discovered that the splashes were courtesy of two school-bus-sized manta rays! It was such a rare and special occurrence that not even our pilot had seen it before.
Soon enough, the volcano revealed itself on the horizon, and we eventually came in to land. Looking around at the vast cliffs and steaming crater in the distance, it felt like we’d stepped into another world. Armed with hardhats and gas masks, we set out to explore the island with our guide. The tour took us past active volcanic vents and geothermal streams, all the way up to the edge of the massive active crater lake. Talk about close up and immersive!
Sam was able to answer all of our questions along the way, with an extensive knowledge of the volcano’s science and history. We learned that the island is actually a former sulphur mining site, and were even able to walk through abandoned mining ruins from over 100 years ago! After nearly two hours of exploring, it was time to take the epic helicopter flight back to Rotorua. It was a chance to once again take in the spectacular view of our home from this unique vantage point.
Thank You Volcanic Air!
A raw, real and riveting experience, it goes without saying that we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Sam and Volcanic Air for taking us on this incredibly unique adventure!